Some U.S. Lawmakers are looking to bring more transparency to big pharma, according to a FiercePharma article.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in November introduced the Drug Price Transparency in Communications Act, which would require prescription drug companies to include price disclosures in direct-to-consumer advertising. The bill, currently in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, has received backing from several other Democratic senators.
Supporters claim the measure would boost competition, arming citizens with information to consider other alternatives.
“As the lawmakers point out, the American Medical Association previously determined that DTC ads boost demand ‘for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate,’” the article states.
Those in the industry suggest it’s easier said than done, however. Drug pricing is often “complex and opaque,” and industry watchers have questioned which prices would end up in advertisements. Durbin’s bill suggests list prices, prior to discounts and rebates. Price comparison websites already exist, also, leading some to the conclusion that the requirement would have no merit.